(SEIAN MARU prewar)

Tabular Record of Movement

© 2011-2013 Bob Hackett and Gilbert Casse.

Revision 1

16 November 1937:
Okajima. Laid down at Tama Zosensho, K. K. as a 3,712-ton cargo-passenger ship for Dairen Kisen, K. K., Dairen (Dalian), Manchuria.

15 April 1938:
Launched and named SEIAN MARU.

2 June 1938:
Completed. SEIAN MARU is capable of carrying nine passengers. Begins regular service between Dairen, Osaka and Kobe.

30 November 1940:
Requisitioned by the IJN.

16 December 1940:
Registered as an auxiliary anti-submarine netlayer and patrol boat in the Maizuru Naval District. Captain Sugimoto Ujina is appointed Supervisor.

18 December 1940:
Arrives at Naniwa Dock Yard, Osaka.

14 January 1941:
Undergoes conversion to an auxiliary anti-submarine netlayer and patrol boat. Attached to the Second Fleet’s Second Base Force.

24 March 1941:
Undergoes patrol training at Chusan Retto (archipelago), E of Shanghai.

3 April 1941:
Arrives at Unzen, Nagasaki.

10 April 1941:
Attached to Vice Admiral Takahashi Ibo’s (36) newly activated Third Fleet in Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Hirose Sueto’s (39)Second Base Force based at Takao, Formosa.

10 June 1941:
Departs Sasebo. Patrols off the coasts of Shanghai and Hainan Island, China.

7 July 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

11 July 1941:
Departs Takao. Attached to the IJA force assigned to occupy Vichy French Saigon, Indochina.

1 August 1941:
Japan occupies Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam.

29 August 1941:
Arrives at Osaka.

4 December 1941:
Arrives at Keelung, then departs for Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa.

17 December 1941:
Arrives at Keelung.

30 December 1941:
Arrives at Mako.

15 January 1942:
Receives secret Secretariat letter of instruction No. 520 pertaining to range finder equipment.

26 January 1942:
Arrives at Tarakan, W Borneo.

10 March 1942:
Attached to the Second South Expeditionary Fleet’s 24th Special Base Force.

15 March 1942:
Attached to the Dutch East Indies New Guinea invasion force.

19 March 1942:
Arrives at Tarakan.

22 March 1942:
Departs Tarakan.

27 March 1942: Operation "N" – The Seizure of Dutch New Guinea:
Ambon Island. The "N" Expeditionary Force under Rear Admiral (later Vice Admiral) Fujita Ruitaro’s (38) command assembles and includes a Transport Force consisting of SEIAN MARU acting as supply ship and transport HOKUROKU MARU. Close escort is provided by the 2nd Gunboat Division with auxiliary gunboats MANYO, TAIKO and OKUYO MARUs. The Transport Force carries Captain Shibuya’s Naval Landing Force consisting of the 4th Guard Unit. [1]
Escort is provided by CarDiv 11’s seaplane carrier CHITOSE, CruDiv 16/3’s KINU, DesDiv 16/1's YUKIKAZE and TOKITSUKAZE, torpedo boats TOMOZURU, HATSUKARI, patrol boats PB-1, PB- 2, PB-38 and PB-39, SubChasDiv 54's SHONAN MARU No. 5 and No. 17 and FUKUEI MARU No. 15 plus smaller craft.

29 March 1942:
Night-time. The "N" Expeditionary Force departs Ambon for Ceram Island.

31 March 1942:
Arrives at Boela, Ceram Island, Moluccas.

1-21 April 1942:
The N Expeditionary Force invades Fak-Fak, Babo, Sorong, Manokwari, Moemi, Nabire, Seroei, Sarmi and Hollandia, New Guinea.

23 April 1942:
The N Expeditionary Force is dissolved. All units return to Ambon Island.

24 April 1942:
Departs Ambon.

23 April 1942:
Receives Second South Expeditionary Fleet's secret order No. 759 pertaining to the dispersion of the New Guinea invasion unit and return to duty.

7 May 1942:
Arrives at Ambon.

8 May 1942:
Arrives at Banda Island and departs.

9 May 1942:
Arrives at Haruko Island, departs and returns to Ambon.

16 May 1942:
Departs Ambon.

18 May 1942:
Arrives at Delhi (Dili), East Timor.

19 May 1942:
Departs Delhi.

21 May 1942:
Arrives at Ambon.

23 May 1942:
Departs Ambon. Engages in anti-submarine action Shells and depth charges an unidentified submarine.

24 May 1942:
Engages in anti-submarine action. Drops three depth charges.

25 May 1942:
Arrives at Kupang, Timor.

26 May 1942:
Loads elements of the No. 3 Yokosuka Special Naval Landing Force.

28 May 1942:
Arrives at Delhi. Engages in air action. Later that day, departs.

30 May 1942:
Arrives at Ambon.

8 June 1942:
Departs Ambon.

10 June 1942:
Arrives at Delhi.

11 June 1942:
Departs Delhi.

12 June 1942
Arrives at Kupang.

13 June 1942
Departs Kupang.

14 June 1942
Arrives at Delhi.

15 June 1942:
Departs Delhi.

17 June 1942:
Arrives at Ambon.

18 June 1942:
Departs Ambon.

20 June 1942:
Arrives at Ternate, Moluccas.

29 June 1942:
Departs Ternate. Conducts compass deviation measurements and returns to Ternate.

30 June 1942:
Departs Ternate.

4 July 1942:
Arrives at Manokuwari, New Guinea.

5 July 1942:
Departs Manokuwari.

6 July 1942:
Arrives at Sorong and departs that day.

7 July 1942:
Arrives at Misoru Island and departs that day.

8 July 1942:
Arrives at Ambon. Netherlands East Indies.

11 July 1942:
Departs Ambon.

13 July 1942:
Arrives at Kendari, Celebes. Netherlands East Indies.

14 July 1942:
Departs Kendari.

16 July 1942:
Arrives at Makassar, Celebes.

22 July 1942:
Departs Makassar.

24 July 1942:
Arrives at Kendari.

27 July 1942:
Departs Kendari.

28 July 1942:
Arrives at Ambon, Moluccas, Netherlands East Indies.

1 August 1942:
Departs Ambon.

3 August 1942:
Arrives at Kupang.

7 August 1942:
Departs Kupang.

10 August 1942:
Arrives at Anpenan.

13 August 1942:
Departs Anpenan.

23 August 1942:
Arrives at Ambon. That same day, SW of Ambon, LtCdr James W. Coe’s USS SKIPJACK (SS-184) torpedoes and damages fleet oiler HAYATOMO at 03-52N, 127-54E.

25 August 1942:
SEIAN MARU is removed from the Navy List and registered as an auxiliary transport (charter ship) in the Maizuru Naval District.

29 August 1942:
Departs Ambon. Arrives near the location that oiler HAYATOMO was torpedoed and tows her to Kendari, Celebes.

7 September 1942:
Receives secret Secretariat letter of instruction No. 1126 pertaining to equipment substitution.

23 September 1942:
Arrives at Kure.

1 October 1942:
Departs Kure.

2 October 1942:
Arrives at Maizuru.

3 October 1942:
At Maizuru Navy yard.

26 October 1942:
Maizuru. Begins equipment installation.

27 October 1942:
Completes equipment installation. Departs Maizuru.

30 October 1942:
Arrives at Tamano.

27 October 1942:
Enters dock at Mitsui Engineering Shipbuilding. Undergoes hull cleaning.

6 November 1942:
Departs Tamano.

17 November 1942:
Arrives at Kobe.

18 November 1942:
Departs Kobe.

20 November 1942:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

25 November 1942:
Departs Yokosuka.

28 November 1942:
Arrives at Ominato.

4 December 1942:
Departs Ominato.

8 December 1942:
Arrives at Saeki.

2 December 1942:
Receives secret Secretariat letter of instruction No. 14885 pertaining to requisition as an IJN auxiliary transport and remodeling to an auxiliary oiler.

9 December 1942:
Begins unloading a cargo of mines.

11 December 1942:
Completes unloading mines.

14 December 1942:
Departs Saeki.

24 December 1942:
Shimonoseki. Begins conversion to an emergency auxiliary oiler at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. shipyard.

14 January 1943:
Completes conversion.

15 January 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

18 January 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

26 January 1943:
Arrives at Singapore.

30 January 1943:
Departs Singapore.

1 February 1943:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.

6 February 1943:
Departs Miri.

10 February 1943:
Arrives at St Jacques.

11 February 1943:
Departs St Jacques.

20 February 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

23 February 1943:
Departs Takao.

1 March 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

2 March 1943:
Departs Kobe.

3 March 1943:
Arrives at Yokohama.

8 March 1943:
Departs Yokohama.

12 March 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo. Undergoes remodelling construction.

28 April 1943:
Departs Sasebo and arrives at Imari.

30 April 1943:
Departs Imari Wan (Bay) in convoy SA-13 also consisting of auxiliary transport RYUKO MARU, IJN requisitioned (B-AK) MENADO MARU, IJA transports TATSUHA, TAITO and SHISEN MARUs, IJA shared (A/C-AK) MAKO MARU and auxiliary transport KOTO MARU No. 2 Go escorted by minelayer TAKASHIMA. Most of the convoy is bound for Shanghai.

2 May 1943:
At 1000, due to arrive in Chusan Island Group.

4 May 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

9 May 1943:
SEIAN MARU departs Takao in convoy No. 748 also consisting of transport EIKO MARU No. 2 GO and four unidentified merchant ships escorted by minesweeper W-21.

13 May 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

23 May 1943:
Departs Manila.

27 May 1943:
Arrives at Miri, Borneo.

29 May 1943:
Departs Miri.

1 June 1943:
Arrives at St. Jacques, Indochina.

4 June 1943:
SEIAN MARU departs St. Jacques in convoy No. 401 also consisting of AMAGI and LIVERPOOL MARUs and tanker NICHISAN MARUs and six unidentified merchant ships escorted by subchaser CH-9. The convoy split into two shortly after departing port.

9 June 1943:
SEIAN MARU and the first section arrive at Takao.

10 June 1943:
The second section arrives at Takao.

12 June 1943:
Departs Takao.

18 June 1943:
Arrives at Kobe.

19 June 1943:
Departs Kobe.

20 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokkaichi.

25 June 1943:
Departs Yokkaichi.

26 June 1943:
Arrives at Yokosuka.

29 June 1943:
Departs Yokosuka in convoy No. 7629 consisting of an unknown number of merchant ships.

2 July 1943:
Arrives at Sasebo.

9 July 1943:
Departs Sasebo.

10 July 1943:
Arrives at Kagoshima.

12July 1943:
Departs Kagoshima.

14 July 1943:
Arrives at Nago, Okinawa.

15 July 1943:
Departs Nago.

16 July 1943:
Arrives at unknown location in Okinawa.

20 July 1943:
Departs Okinawa.

24 July 1943:
Arrives at Takao.

26 July 1943:
Departs Takao.

29 July 1943:
Arrives at Manila.

1 August 1943:
Departs Manila.

8 August 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

30 August 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

31 August 1943:
Military reassignment.

1 September 1943:
Attached as an auxiliary tanker in the Maizuru Naval District. That same day, arrives at Surabaya.

17 September 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

19 September 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

3 October 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

4 October 1943:
Arrives at Barido estuary.

10 October 1943:
Departs Barido estuary.

15 October 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya and departs that day.

17 October 1943:
Arrives at Djakarta.

31 October 1943:
Departs Djakarta.

22 October 1943:
Arrives at Surabaya.

26 October 1943:
Departs Surabaya.

29 October 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

4 November 1943:
At 1830, SEIAN MARU departs Balikpapan in convoy 2610 also consisting of fleet oiler SATA and tanker KYOEI MARU escorted by destroyer SANAE and auxiliary subchaser CHa-37.

6 November 1943:
Auxiliary subchaser CHa-37 is detached.

7 November 1943:
Cargo ship KENZAN MARU joins the convoy.

10 November 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

17 November 1943:
At 0950, SEIAN MARU departs Palau in convoy No. 8175 also consisting of fleet oilers SATA and TSURUMI, tanker KYOEI MARUs and cargo ship SHOYU MARU escorted by destroyer AMATSUKAZE, subchaser CH-33 and auxiliary subchaser CHa-27.

20 November 1943:
At 2000, auxiliary submarine chaser CHa-27 detaches and returns to Palau.

24 November 1943:
At 0840, arrives at Truk with a cargo of fuel oil.

1 December 1943:
At 0700, SEIAN MARU departs Truk in a convoy also consisting of oiler fleet SATA, tanker NANPO MARU and cargo ship SHOYU MARU escorted by destroyers YAMAGUMO and AKIGUMO as far as Palau. After this, subchaser CH-6 takes over escort duties to Balikpapan.

7 December 1943:
Arrives at Palau.

13 December 1943:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

23 December 1943:
Departs Balikpapan.

22 February 1944:
Arrives at Tarakan.

24 February 1944:
Arrives at Balikpapan.

7 March 1944:
SEIAN MARU departs Takao in convoy TAMO-08 also consisting of eight unidentified merchant ships escorted by destroyers HASU and TSUGA, minelayer NIIZAKI and an unidentified warship.

8 March 1944:
Arrives at Kirun.

13 March 1944:
Departs Kirun. The convoy splits into two parts after leaving port.

17 March 1944:
The first part arrives Moji.

18 March 1944:
The second part arrives Moji.

1 June 1944:
SEIAN MARU departs Surabaya for Balikpapan with tankers JAMBI MARU and armed fleet supply ship ARASAKI as the sole escort. Two hours after departure, JAMBI MARU strikes a mine that explodes under hold No. 4 and returns to Surabaya.

The others later arrive safely at Balikpapan.

3 June 1944:
ARASAKI arrives at Balikpapan in a convoy with fleet oiler SHIOYA and tanker SEIAN MARU escorted by torpedo boat HAYABUSA.

10 August 1944:
Arrives at unknown Karanbetsuna location.

11 August 1944:
Arrives at Sangkulirang Bay and departs Later that day, arrives at Balikpapan.

17 November 1944:
SEIAN MARU Departs Manila for Takao via Olongapo escorted by subchaser CH-36. SEIAN MARU runs aground outside of Subic Bay, Philippines. Refloated, she makes Subic Bay escorted by CH-36.

19 November 1944:
Off Subic Bay. Carrier aircraft of Vice Admiral (Admiral, posthumously) John S. McCain’s (USNA ’06)Task Force 38 bomb and sink SEIAN MARU and CH-36 at 14-40N, 120-15E. 5 crewmen are KIA. [2]

Authors' Notes:
[1] Battalion size - contained elements of Sasebo Combined Naval SNLF and the 24th Special Base Unit - about 500 men.
[2] According to some Japanese sources, she was under civilian control at the time of her sinking.

- Bob Hackett and Gilbert Casse.

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